Birdoswald Roman FortIt used to be turf, you know. The whole of the western 30 miles of Hadrian’s Wall from the river crossing at Birdoswald to Bowness-on-Solway was 20 Roman feet of turf all the way.
Longest stretch of Hadrian’s Wall and extensive remains of the Roman fort including a complete circuit of Walls and gates, granaries and parade block, and the, still standing over 2 metres high. There are also milecastles, turrets, a river crossing and clear evidence of the turf wall that preceded Hadrian’s Wall itself. Troops from what are now Romania and Bulgaria were stationed here.
After the Roman occupation ended, a local warlord built a timber framed hall on the site of a former granary, giving a fascinating insight into how life went on after Roman authority collapsed. The visitor centre provides an interesting display about the story of the fort and its local landscape.
For visitors from Carlisle and the west, Birdoswald is the ideal place to visit to see the Wall itself and one of the best preserved forts that housed the troops who garrisoned the frontier. The site is set in stunning countryside with extensive views across wooded farmland to the hills of the North Pennines.
The site is managed by English Heritage. There is a cafeteria and a shop selling books, gifts and souvenirs.
1 Apr - 30 Sep 10am-5.30pm daily (last admission 5pm)1 - 31 Oct 10am-4pm dailyWinter opening times1 Nov - 31 Mar Sat-Sun 10am-4pmClosed 24-26 Dec, 1 JanAdmission: adults £5.00, concessions £4.50, children £3.00There are free education visits, and Discover Visits which incur a charge 01697 747602 www.english-heritage.org.uk/birdoswald
Sat Nav: CA8 7DD
Hadrian’s Wall Country Bus AD122.
Other things to do
A two mile walk eastwards from Birdoswald (towards Gilsland) takes you along one of the best preserved stretches of Hadrian’s Wall complete with remains of milecastles and turrets. Part of this walk will see you cross the magnificent award winning Willowford Bridge, fabricated out of the same "weathering" steel as the Angel of the North. Catch the AD122 bus back to the site.
A short journey west will find you at the stunning Lanercost Priory, managed by English Heritage. This Augustinian monastery founded in 1169 has witnessed a wild and turbulent past but now stands proud in the middle of the community and holds regular church services, as they have been for almost 850 years.
Adjacent to the Priory and brand new for 2012, visit Lanercost tearoom and Information Point, for more information on what makes Hadrian’s Wall Country special. Displays themed around conflict, mystery, spirit and independence will inspire and make you realise you are actually part of the story!
Visit Brampton town, a pretty market town with excellent services and home to St Martin's Church, the only church designed by the Pre-Raphaelite architect Philip Webb. Of particular interest are the exquisite sets of stained glass windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and produced in the famous William Morris studio.
Brampton also hosts a seasonal Tourist Information Centre (Easter-end October) in the Moot Hall, run by local volunteers.